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Comment Re: Lies? (Score 1) 539

Anybody that does any kind of programming is working on an abstraction level of some kind all the way down to the transistors connected together to form a basic NAND gate. Judging each other as "Not a True Scotsman" is nothing more than a dick measuring contest. Engineering is a codified discipline for the practical application of principles based in science to build pragmatic solutions in an ethical way.

Comment Re:WHat I said on ars: (Score 1) 564

I can sympathize with this narrative and it is pretty much verified at this point that the "reputation management" industry is a very real scourge on the Internet today. I suspected this was involved back when I saw the flood of comments and opinion pieces villifying and blaming Sanders and Stein for Trump's victory.

On this matter though I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment here, mostly based on a good deal of thought on real life experiences that I have. My wife has always disliked Assange and she jumped on this bandwagon quite willingly of demonizing him. I can assure you I know a thing or two about her, and I can promise she is not part of any PR campaign she is aware of. Let me offer a simpler explanation.

If anything this election season has taught myself and many people is that there are a lot of powerful entities with a vested interest in public opinion being swayed one way or another. Each side is accusing the other of fake news and both sides are using various disingenuous tactics and journalistic practices to confirm this on all sides. People simply are skeptical of everything. Human nature is such that not having conviction in your beliefs is stressful. We may be on the fence, unsure of what to believe, and we will be hyper focused looking for a tiny little piece of evidence to send us over the edge to a strong conviction.

Julian Assange has been a net positive benefit for society in general. There is also a huge smear campaign against him that is hard to verify. We all suspect that the rape charges against him may have been a snare to get him under control and punish him, but we can't know for sure that he didnt in fact commit these crimes. This statement in light of his tweet shows us something concrete and negative about his character that millions of people will have an overblown and visceral reaction to because it is so clear and easily verified. There is no doubt what was said in his tweet versus what is said by his lawyer. This was that one small piece of evidence that people were looking for to give them the conviction of belief they so desperately want.

Comment Re:I know: reading TFA is doing it wrong (Score 2) 499

A really interesting take I heard on NPR was from a woman from GirlsWhoCode and her take on why women fare worse in programming than men.

She told a story about a high school CS class where the students were given an assignment and told to code it. An hour goes by and the boys in the class all turn their assignment in before the class is over, some got the best solution, some got an acceptable solution, some turned in code that didn't even compile. The girl in the class walked up for help because she said she just didn't know where to start. The teacher replied, "Well what did you attempt to do?" only to find her code editor was completely blank. After 45 minutes not a single line of code written.

The interesting thing is that for every girl that does this, she will start hitting Undo and it will reveal that she in fact coded a solution that was partially complete or almost there but she ended up erasing everything before asking for help. The boys almost never had shame in turning in sloppy or unfinished code.

The important takeaway from this is that girls are raised in our culture to strive for perfection. They are constantly bombarded with perfect ideals from the time they are children to the time they are adults. They are actively disservicing themselves by sabotaging their own efforts when they are not immediately perfect at what they are trying to accomplish. They would rather turn in nothing or give up on interviews than present something less than ideal.

This explains why women fare worse and give up sooner in interviews than men. Boys are taught from a young age to keep getting up, keep trying, failure is okay and is how we learn. Praises and complements don't make us stronger, failure and pain make us stronger. Girls are taught that the prettiest girl gets a free ride in life. She was innately born to be beautiful, she was perfect without trying. Their self worth is programmed to be externalized from a young age to where validation and praise from others defines who a young woman is.

Women suck at programming because the patriarchy programmed them to be that way.

Comment Replacing legacy mainframe systems (Score 2) 208

As an architect designing a distributed horizontally scalable solution with commodity hardware to replace a legacy mainframe based system at a major US bank, I can attest to the near impossibility of such a feat. The problem is one of reprehensible management that silo themselves into little fiefdoms in there ever present quest to backstabbing their way up the corporate ladder. The culture in management is so hostile that positions for middle management are opening up and being offered to technical people like myself who are turning it down because who wants to eat shit and be in meetings for 70 hours a week for what, 10k more per year? No thanks, I actually like spending time with my family. Further still decades of offshoring and outsourcing have sufficiently hollowed out these organizations to the point where nobody knows, cares, or values doing the right thing. Most of the time they are substandard technical talent at best. Management couldn't buy a clue though they sure try. Everything some consultant comes in to look at stuff and offer advice, they are basically just put in charge of doing actual management. Literally you don't get much more hollow than making the consultant a bona fide manager. Really? You just wrote the vendor a blank check! Of course his management discretion will be to buy more and more products and services from his company, and bring more and more of his buddies into this gravy train. Then when it falls apart, consultant is kicked out and blamed for all the problems, then they cycle in the next company with a flashy PowerPoint and sales guys with a good golf swing. Then we have the problem of them not understanding IT in the slightest because they have been out of the technical game so long or they are an MBA suit. They don't understand how a successful project is run, what people are talented and which are good pretenders, and throw in buzz words they hear at a conference like, "Scrum" and "Agile" but then set it all up for failure by insisting on projects that are Fixed Date AND Fixed Scope! Seriously, when has that ever worked? Clearly not anytime in recent memory judging on maybe the single digits project success rate that you boast as an organization. Some messed up part of their mind believes that people work harder when you set a hard deadline and whip them. OK, I am not challenging the veracity of this, merely that hard work is what makes an IT project successful. No, careful methodical planning and diligent project management make an IT project successful. If we had all the answers and I had 10 really smart guys and full participation of interface teams, we could knock this out in 3 months. To get there requires a lot of analysis, design and planning though. Last I checked the project isn't failing because we don't have enough warm bodies banging on keyboards, it's because we can't get 40 teams to coordinate, we can't get the business to commit to scope, and requirements suck because you have been treating analysts like replaceable cogs for decades. No, the real goal isn't the project, it is to grow a team bigger than your colleague and have more face time with executives because ultimately that is what gives you advancement. This is the reason whyou these projects are seemingly impossible and almost always fail at the bank.

Comment Re:Might be other reasons... (Score 1) 1092

It was a gift. She explained it on her Medium blog. Also the gourmet cupcakes were a company sponsored baking competition for charity. It is a little pathetic that so many people took the time to troll her social media to find "evidence" that she is lying and then create a collage with no explanation and taken completely out of context.

Comment Re: Interesting (Score 1) 440

Redistribution yes but for all intents and purposes there is the fucked up casino economy of the rich and the real economy. Money that is being created now is going right into investment banks and stock buybacks and other gimmicks. It is not making its way to the real economy where if it came in fast and strong could,in fact cause inflation but only if the things that lower class people want weren't so thoroughly commoditized.

Comment Re: Interesting (Score 3, Interesting) 440

Despite the fact that the elephant in the room that macro economists are scared to death of is the drop in demand for goods and services in a mature economy. This causes natural deflation in a free market void of central bank interference. Japan for the first time is offering negative interest rates, a country that struggled with dropping consumer demand for decades. We are seeing the same things in the US and other countries where central banks are practically giving money for free with the hopes that it will trigger investment and demand. That and quantitative easing and creating new money out of thin air yet runaway inflation STILL does not occur! Most people work just hard enough to make just enough money to live a comfortable life with a few luxuries, but with productivity at record levels, not only do we have less and less need for productive workers for capitalists to make money, things that we have today that 40 years ago were toys of the rich are now common and cheap for the masses. Demand for more and more sophisticated luxuries is not continuous, it tapers off for most healthy functioning adults. This is clearly true or marketing services wouldn't be a billion dollar industry, using psychological tricks to convince people of needs that they don't have. This is only sustainable for only so long before we realize that demand cannot increase forever, constant growth cannot be sustained, and the value of human labor is approaching zero with productivity and automation gains. Universal income will not cause inflation as food and necessities on the supply side already surpass the possible demand from the population as a whole. With needs, we don't demand more food when our bellies are full, we don't demand additional homes and healthcare than what is necessary for us to stay alive. Everything else is a luxury and is a want not a need but in most people wants are limited too without psychological tricks. UBI will clearly not cause inflation, it is a necessary step towards a post consumer economy and society.

Comment Can it be used to treat PTSD? (Score 2) 158

As someone diagnosed with PTSD from a traumatic event, I have been to different types of therapies and some of them work to an extent. In particular EMDR therapy seeks to address the problem by having the patient recall the traumatic memory while things are done to help diffuse the autonomous reaction from the amygdala part of the brain. The Amygdala is a primitive part of the brain that controls flight or fight. It uses a proto type of memory where stimuli that occur before trauma or an incredibly stressful event are hard wired into the amygdala, think of it like ROM memory. When similar stimuli occur it triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline causing a panic or anxiety attack. This is why CBT therapy is so ineffective for treating PTSD and other anxiety disorders because the problem isn't cognitive in nature. It would be interesting if these methods could be used for other types of memory as well and finally work towards a more effective treatment for PTSD sufferers.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 460

At which point humanity would do the only wise thing with such technology... let a bunch of rich people on Wall Street hire the smartest minds to perform their automated gambling activities nano seconds faster than the other rich guys on Wall Street. We have come so far but still have so much farther to go.

Comment Re:'murkans r stoopid? (Score 4, Insightful) 519

it is not something that is inherent in poverty, either.

No that is the exact opposite conclusion actually. It has EVERYTHING to do with REAL poverty.

The problem with comparing the US to other advanced countries is that with the social services and money that is spent on them in those countries, even when you are born into a poor family in Sweden lets say, you are immediately and profoundly more wealthy than your American counterpart. This wealth isn't judged in dollars, cents and purchasing power however in excellent public transportation, strong workers rights, disability programs, top notch education for all, excellent first world healthcare, retirement benefits and more.

Societal wealth makes all the difference here. A better comparison to America would be a country like Saudi Arabia. You have a handful of disgustingly wealthy people who control almost all of the actionable power and wealth in society, a single digit percentage of REAL middle class (and I mean the real definition of middle class not this bogus American definition that was created for political expediency). If you are REALLY middle class then you are afforded modern conveniences and a level of financial, retirement, educational and healthcare security to where you don't have to frequently worry too hard about being poor in the near or long term future.

Also just like Saudi Arabia, the rest of the society is so broke they're broken, so poor they can't even pay attention.

Comment Re: NUKEM!! NUKEM NOW!! (Score 1) 728

Umm, this is incorrect. Signers of international treaty on war agree that every effort should be made to avoid harming unarmed field medics if possible. A sniper firing on a field medic is only justified to fire on a medic if the medic is carrying a weapon and is threatening lives. Otherwise this is against rules of engagement.

Comment Re:What is your views on Y Combinator? (Score 1) 129

They take control of your business by basically giving founders a playbook in how to extort employees by giving them terrible stock options where they can be watered down with each round of funding, and then teach founders how to fellate their egos that they are somehow the same, temporarily embarrassed entrepreneurs just a few years away from being millionaires themselves.

They work their employees like they are founders but when the company takes off they are often left behind with a pathetic payout in comparison. This is what YCombinator does for startups. You are probably just too young to remember what Silicon Valley was like before they came around.

Comment What is your views on Y Combinator? (Score 3, Interesting) 129

Hi Jeff, I am a long time Stack Exchange user and community moderator on Programmers.

You seem to operate your startup space out of New York as opposed to the popular incubator location of the Silly Valley. Is this out of a conscious choice or rejection of the Silicon Valley VC culture? If so, what is your opinion of the potentially unethical recruiting strategies and inherent discrimination of these strategies as employed and evangelized to founders by organizations like Y Combinator? Do you have any opinions of Y Combinator?

Comment Why is this a problem? (Score 0) 29

Perhaps this is my failure to truly understand the scope of the problem, but where is the real motivation for hackers to compromise MRI machines and CAT scanners? Seriously. Why would somebody go to any level of effort and for that matter risk the felony charges that would come as a result?

I am not questioning that such a thing would be a violation of privacy. I am also not questioning that there is potential for serious harm to be maliciously done to or against somebody. I merely question the scope of the threat in terms of motivating factors. It is clear to me the motivating factor of compromising email. Serious hackers are motivated by Nationalism/Activism, financial gain, or sexual thrill/lulz. Hack the email account of important people or enemies and use private information to damage them or their cause. This can also get you closer to hacking their bank account for money, or possibly finding lewd or compromising content that can be used to blackmail them for money. Or maybe you are just doing it for the thrill of potentially finding sexual content that others are not supposed to see.

Beyond just the occasional script kiddie doing it for the lulz, I don't see many motivating factors to go through the trouble. Even if you leave the door to your house wide open, the vast majority of people won't risk walking in, especially if they know there is little of value in the house, and especially if they know the danger of being caught. It is still trespassing even if your door is open because of the fact that you weren't invited.

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